Treading Water in Trump’s Swamp


I’m sad.
You don’t need to reprimand me.
I’m well-aware that I should get over my post election blues and stand behind our new president elect, and yet I find myself consumed with dread.
It’s irrational, I know.
Trump hasn’t even been inaugurated.
He’s still picking cabinet members, taking victory laps, and posting on Twitter…short 140 character drive-by-tweets to the world at all hours of the day and night.
I have no idea when he sleeps or what is so urgent that it can’t wait until morning, but I’m hoping these angry old white man’s irrationally narcissistic outbursts will become more politically stable after January 20th…and yet there is a feeling that hangs ominously over the moral fiber of this land…slowly seeping into our country’s DNA like a paralyzing disease.
This feeling of despair has only visited a few times in my life, and each time it began with an apathetic decision, a period of great pain, followed by a rocky transition…ending in new growth.
I probably deserved every one of those smackdowns because I wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t seem to care enough, and complacency breeds surrender… in terms of this election, that’s right where they want us.
Each lesson learned started out innocently enough, and yet I knew it was the wrong choice. I felt it in my gut.
I recognized that I was on the wrong course, but I let it go. … because I didn’t feel like fighting it. I became passive…hoping that it would eventually work out…or someone else would take the reins and fix it. But no one else is going to fix this…and I haven’t come this far to be a voice unheard.
We are told that Donald Trump will be an unconventional leader…that he shies away from normal protocol and Washington rules.
He has been described as a man who enjoys surprising people…which is great if you’ve hired David Copperfield, but I don’t want to wake up one morning and find that Trump has waged nuclear war with a neighbor due to an online Twitter scrap.
Actually, I don’t even want my president to be active on Twitter at all, but I must be an exception to the rule because no one seems to give a rat’s ass.
Instead, we witness his thin-skinned insecurities on social media…maligning Muslims, flogging families of fallen soldiers, scorching SNL cast members, bitch-slapping Broadway casts, undercutting Union workers, blowing off Boeing contracts, basically any person or institution that condemns him.
How did we get here?
We thought we’d made such strides to build a stronger, more tolerant nation! Oh, how we praised our progress! Of course we knew there was much more to do, but we never disputed our direction and course of action.
Looking back, I suppose we were too busy high-fiving our progressive stance on electing a black president, implementing equal rights, health care, and climate change policies to even be aware of the forgotten American undercurrent. In the wake of our progress, the rumbling voices duped for years into voting against their best interests grew stronger…waiting for their turn…and their leader.
Trump gave these voices permission to “lock up a Crooked Clinton” and laugh at a man’s disabilities or call Rosie O’Donnell a fat pig.
His tour bus locker room antics with Billy Bush should have turned America’s stomachs…but instead, the crowds gave him a pass for his pussy grabbing gaffe, and his rallies continued to multiply, sparking the flames of hatred, prejudice, misogyny, bigotry, bullying, and racism.
I realize you can’t have it both ways. I want transparency when it comes to our leader’s taxes and investments around the world, but I don’t want to hear about their “private holdings” with women. Nor do I want to be lied to, or played a fool. Yes, other presidents have acted as if their penises are running the show…Republicans are the first to toss Bill Clinton’s sexual dalliances at Dems… as if we introduced him to Jennifer Flowers and Monica at a suburban cocktail party.
Character flaws exist. They are not to be celebrated or defended. Bill was nearly impeached for his infidelity, whereas Trump was elected despite his double-dipping.
As the campaign months dragged on, lines blurred, fictitious news stories surfaced, and yet Trump did not denounce the fabrication because it was what his followers wanted to hear. They stood in growing numbers, chanting their frustrations as he basically promised a happy ending to every blue collar man’s wet dream.
Now we are facing a new issue. Did Russia play a role in our election results?
And if so, why did Obama wait until now to call for an immediate and thorough investigation? So many unanswered questions, and yet if the CIA finds that the Kremlin tampered with our election, what options do we have?
As Bob Lefsetz wrote, “It’s not like we haven’t lived through this before, fifty-odd years ago. The Russians were the enemy, but JFK stood up to them, ended the Cuban Missile Crisis, now we’ve got a half-cocked doofus with no experience pointing out Putin’s advantages. If that doesn’t make your head spin, your spine is fused.”
So Donald…
You know all those people who voted for you? They want a wall…they want Hillary locked up…they want their jobs back…and now that you’ve pretended to care, they want your undivided attention.
Did you realize if you offered these rewards for their votes you’d have an obligation to perform?
You, who ran the Apprentice and fired people when they didn’t live up to your expectations?
I don’t care if you dig into that border soil yourself in the middle of the night with a flashlight, you better build that wall, the higher the better for your fanbase, and remember, Mexico pays!…because that’s what you promised.
Bottom line, as a single parent who married someone hellbent on obfuscating the truth, I’ve spent a lifetime trying to educate my kids that there are consequences when dining with charlatans.
My gut told me then…and my gut tells me now…that I’ll be fine, having pulled myself out of these weeds before. In some small way it might be my contribution to the collective consciousness as we move through these bitch-slapping, pussy-grabbing, Putin-bromancing Trump transition times.
Okay, I’ve struggled with throwing this out there, but I realize that I can no longer be a passive observer. If we can’t speak the truth, then why live in this country? I need to speak mine…we all must…many already have. I’m tired of tucking things deep, watching the carnage, and adjusting to the fallout.
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  1. I believe what really needs fixing is our system is the mechanism which repeatedly gives the american voter candidate choices such as these two. It is a miracle anyone votes at all.

  2. Annie, I’m so glad to read this! It’s briliantly written, articulating what I have struggled to. I share all of your concerns and give you credit for being able to retain a shred of optimism in the face of all this. Thank you so much for posting!

    • June, I don’t know if I’d call it optimism, but I’m trying my best to see how this mess happened to us and what, if anything, we can do to hold this man accountable. It is great to hear from you! Thank you for leaving a comment!

  3. GREAT PIECE!!! I can tell you as a Canadian that we as a country stand holding our collective breath and hope that whatever this is doesn’t spread. I too am sad, sad that a great country has somehow decided to hold up the worst of mankind as a beacon of hope!

    Speak out loud my friend and often. Keep him on his toes!
    and if you need a pussy for him to grab for his impeachment, i will reluctantly but, for the good of mankind, provide my lady bits.

    • Bev,
      So nice of you to offer taking a hit for the team. I can imagine that is quite the sacrifice being Canadian and all, but I assure you…if we call on your lady bits it will be with honors that you served. You always make me laugh and pull me out of a funk. Thank you!

  4. It’s so hard to wrap my head around the fact that this is truly happening. It’s hard to believe anything you read but one thing is for certain, this is scary and somehow, someway Trump & his swamp has to be stopped!

    • Couldn’t agree with you more Bridget! It seems like the playing field is changing in minutes rather than days. I just hope that we will give the Electors some solid information about the Russian hacks before next week and just maybe, something can be done. I’m not holding my breath, but it gives a shred of hope. Thank you for reading and commenting. I love to hear from you!

  5. Love this important, thoughtful piece, Annie! Thank you for giving words to what so many of us are feeling.

    • Mary, I sure appreciate your kind words. I’ve given this a lot of thought. My emotions can turn on a dime with the latest cabinet pick or hack news, but I know there are a lot of us feeling this way, and that should give us strength. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Thank you for writing what I have been unable to articulate. No one knows what’s going to happen in the following months and years but . . . at least we have Vodka and in Washington state weed ; )

  7. Katharine,
    Vodka and weed…I’ll be right up!
    You brightened my day. Thanks for making me laugh.

  8. As a Canadian, I have heard rumours that we will be building a wall to keep Trump in the States and out of Canada.
    well said

    • Melanie,
      Ha! That’s pretty funny. I can believe Canada is pretty happy they don’t have to deal with this mess! Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

  9. Ah, Annie….. Found this after reading about your dad…. Quite a series of posts you’ve written. Much to absorb. Keep them coming.

    Yay for the internet that put you out there for me to find.

    PS: My #Ides of Trump postcard said, among other things, to Trump, “Resign, confess and seek therapy.”

    PPS: Eirenn go Brach

  10. Thank you Eileen! So glad you found me here. I haven’t added much in the last few months…but hopefully will get back into it soon. Would love to see you next visit to the NW!

    • Annie!! Hooray. We’re in Palm Springs until June. Any chance of a visit either there or here? No pressure. You are a dear, important, friend, and I would love to get back in touch.

      Again, so sad about your Stan. Hope Barb is ok. Give her my best. ….Maybe reply to my email directly….?

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